CRA Owes You a Duty of Care

The Cole’s Notes version goes like this: Nearly 20 years ago Irvin Leroux owned a RV park in BC. He was audited and told he owed a lot of money to the CRA. He fought them for years in tax court and won, but not before he was bankrupted. He sued the CRA for damages and while he didn’t get compensated the judge ruled that the CRA owed him (and all taxpayers) a “duty of care.” Both Irvin and the CRA appealed the ruling, Irv for damages and the CRA for court costs and to remove “duty of care.”   Now in court an agreement was reached that ends the proceedings, but leaves “duty of care” in place
To be clear, “duty of care” is significant. Until April 2014, the courts had ruled the CRA owed only the Minister of National Revenue a "duty of care,” and not taxpayers. Justice Humphries’ ruling that the CRA owes taxpayers a ”duty of care,” means if the CRA acts improperly in their dealings with any taxpayer, like they did with Irvin Leroux, they can be sued for negligence. This reinforces the CRA’s accountability in issuing assessments, auditing and imposing penalties ... the Leroux decision provides an additional check on what can and cannot be done by employees of the CRA in the course of their duties.